China’s data center giants have become the next big hope to give traction to ARM’s server initiative.
Very interesting article mentioning some shifts in the market for Chinese data center giants. The U.S. heavy weights have tried but did not buy substantial amount of the 32 or 64bit ARM cpus intended to provide a sea of cores running at low power for all their workloads. Small niche applications were found as basic storage node type cpus instead of compute node cpus. This article even makes mention of one company I was following (Calxeda) who were attempting to break into market of ARM-based data center compute nodes.
Now it seems Chinese data center architects and accounting types want to revisit the ARM 64bit cpu and see if it might apply to the new data centers they’re building en masse. It will be interesting to see if they find the killer app for ARMx64. I know that Intel is happy to continue flogging x86 at all price levels and performance classes. And they can make it really hard for an upstart like ARM to enter the market. The biggest barrier as near as I can tell is the different architecture of the CPU and the instruction sets. It is a non-trivial task to redo/recompile/migrate to the new CPU when you have a lot of moving parts that may also be on a continuous development and deployment cycle.